Surf Snowdonia Opens As First-Ever Inland Wavegarden Open To The Public
Wait, wait. What the….WALES gets an inland surf-park before we do? What the buttered thrown rolls of hell?
Landlocked American aspiring kahunas will have to wait until the premiere U.S. Wavegarden opens on an undetermined future date in Austin, Texas, but in the meantime, Welsh surfers can catch tasty waves peeling up to 150 meters (492 feet) in various profiles at Surf Snowdonia, the pioneering Conwy Valley inland surf facility in NOrth Wales boasting “the longest man-made surfable waves on the planet.” The park opened Aug. 1 with a pool utilizing an underwater “wavefoil” that generates dynamic waves on either side of a central divider.
Surf Snowdonia is a concept 10 years and £12 million (US$19 million) in the making, but the first Wavegarden surfing lagoon to open to the public appears to be worth the wait. A computer controls the waves’ speeds and sizes but varied contours in the lagoon bed determine which wave profile appears where. The waves produced at a rate of about one per minute can accommodate up to 36 simultaneous surfers across a 300 x 120 meter (984 x 394 foot) facility the size of six consecutive soccer pitches.
The attraction is also admirably friendly to its neighboring environment. Built on the site of a former aluminum factory over the course of 13 months, over 100 years worth of heavy industrial waste was removed entirely from the area and more than 400 tonnes (441 U.S. tons) of steel, cast iron and copper combined were recycled during the course of the project, as well as around 25,000 cubic meters (883,000 cu ft) of hardcore. Around 85 percent of the latter was reportedly repurposed into the facility itself.
Even the pool itself is filled with reused rainwater.